Uduaghan tasks Nigerians on Credible Polls
Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said the country can achieve free, fair and credible election in 2011 through the collective efforts of all citizens.
Uduaghan made this submission, on Friday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, when he spoke at the Distinguished Lecture Series organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Tribune Chapel and attended by former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) and his wife, Abimbola Akinjide.
Others in attendance were Managing Director/ Editor-In-Chief of African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publisher of Tribune titles, Pastor Sam Adesua; NUJ Deputy President, Zone B, Prince Ayoade Adededayo, who represented the president, Mr. Garba Muhammed; Oyo State NUJ chairman, Mr. Gbenga Opadotun and Chairman, Tribune Chapel, Pastor Sulaimon Olanrewaju, among others.
The governor, who spoke on the lecture entitled: 2011 Elections: Pitfalls To Avoid, stated that the success of the forthcoming poll rested on the collective efforts of all Nigerians, as the leadership of the country, including President Goodluck Jonathan, the governors and others were sincere and honest about making the exercise succeed.
“I want to note that as much as the leadership of the country, from the president, the governors and others are sincere and honest about having a free, fair and credible election, the ultimate plank of the success of the April election rests on the collective efforts of all Nigerians.
“Let me repeat: It is not for INEC, the political parties – ruling or in opposition alone; instead, the task is for each and everyone of us in this hall-in all corners of Nigeria participating actively and patriotically,” the governor said.
Uduaghan, represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Oma Djebah, noted that should Nigerian leaders and followers stay committed to the cause, “we could assist Professor Attahiru Jega and his team deliver an election that is as good as the June 12 election, adjudged as the freest and fairest election in the country, if not even better than that.”
The governor lamented what he called 'voter apathy and trading of blames,' saying such would not produce any solution needed to achieve fair and credible poll, just as he argued that the business of politics was too important to be left for only politicians if confidence must be restored.
“It is also imperative that confidence is restored in the process. How do we achieve this? The business of politics is too important to be left only to politicians. The professional bodies should be mobilised to sponsor volunteers to get involved in the task of cleansing the electoral scene,” he said.
Chairman of the occasion, Chief Akinjide (SAN), noted that certain pitfall that could not be avoided in election was that no perfect election was possible anywhere in the world.
He said that was why the doctrine of substantial compliance had always been upheld in any court in order to assess whether election was credible or not.
He also hinted on another doctrine called doctrine of consequences which he said was basically designed to avoid creating a vacuum in the offices of president and governors after an election had been conducted.
Pastor Adesua enjoined Nigerian leaders to always do what was right, saying Tribune titles would always report the truth as the organisation was not affiliated to any political party.
“In Tribune, we would publish the truth and damn the consequence. That is what Tribune has been known for in our over 60 years of existence,” he said.